Avantgarde is the newest A string from Warchal. I can guarantee that It is not like any other A string you have used before. It uses the same technique that is used to make the Amber A which. The difference between the Avantgarde and Amber besides one being an E-string and one being an A-string is that the Amber E is only spiraled between the fingerboard and bridge (The area where you would bow). The Avantgarde A-String is spiraled for the entire length of the string!
I had no trouble tuning this string with the peg, but I also felt comfortable tuning the Russian Style A with the peg. I rarely had to tune this string though. I cannot remember any string stay this well in tune so quickly after installation. After the first day I rarely had to ever adjust the string again. (And that's taking into account the weather changes during a Michigan winter).
Lets get into the detail that is probably first on everyone's mind. Yes, you can still feel the helix while you play. It is not so noticeable staying in one position, but once you shift you will undoubtable notice the difference. After using this string for a few weeks I have found myself forgetting about the helix and then surprised at the feeling when I shifted. I would say that after the first few minutes of using it my shifts were not thrown off by the feeling of the string. I would almost say that I felt more accurate because of the enhanced "texture" of the string.
If you are not used to a metal A-string this string will seem very bright. If you are not used to a synthetic A-string than this will feel warm to you. The string sits comfortably in-between the two types of strings. The Avantgarde A feels pretty similar in tension to the Russian Style A under my fingers but is actually a higher tensioned string. The helix does a great job of hiding that tension.
The tone is warm, but not anything comparable to a synthetic string. It does a good job easing the transition to the E-string. On my instrument I felt it was a bit brighter than the Russian Style A which is going against some other reviews out there.
This string is loud. I have this string paired with on of the loudest sets I have ever used and it is singing on top of it.
Yes you can feel the helix while you play, but it takes minutes to get used to. The Avantgarde A does a fantastic job of creating the break to the higher register between the D and A strings without being too shrill or metallic-y. If you have never had a metal A-string and have no qualms with being non-traditional than this would be a great choice for you.
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